• February 26, 2024

Top wonderkids on Real Madrid’s radar

Real Madrid have adopted a policy in recent years of investing in younger players and developing them into stars as a way of countering the financial muscle of state backed clubs like PSG, Manchester City and, potentially in the future, Newcastle United in the transfer window.

The policy has already reaped rich dividends with the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo Goes part of the team that won the Champions League for a record 14th time in May (Vinicius Jr. scored the winner in the final against Liverpool).

However, they continue to scour the world for the next generation of emerging talent, with South America continuing to be a fruitful hunting ground for them.

16 year old Endrick of Palmeiras has been dubbed the new Pelé. He was given his senior debut at just 15, and is widely regarded as the most exciting talent of his age since Neymar first emerged.

He is expected to make a big money move when he turns 18 (FIFA rules do not permit players to move overseas before then), but already the potential suitors are starting to circle. Apart from Real, Barcelona are reported to be interested, as are Premier League side Arsenal, who already have a strong Brazilian connection at the club.

A Brazilian who could move once the January transfer window opens is João Gomes, who currently plays for Flamengo. He recently signed a new five year deal with the Rio based club, but their President is realistic enough to accept that they will listen to big money offers for him.

Gomes plays as defensive midfielder, who plays just in front of the back four, and averages the second most tackles per 90 minutes currently in Brazilian top flight football. He has been compared to Fabinho of Liverpool, and it is perhaps no coincidence that the Premier League side have been heavily linked with a move for him. However, there have been suggestions that Real are already taking to his representatives behind the scenes,

One man who has already made the move and joined the club is Iker Bravo, an agreement already in place with his former club Bayer Leverkusen, that has seen him switch to Spain initially on loan, but with an option to buy of £5 million.

Signing the 17 year old is a real coup for the Spanish club, given that Bravo was formerly a Barcelona graduate and came through their ‘La Masia” academy system before joining the German club. Although he is currently playing for Real’s B side, the hope is that he can be developed to become a back-up striker to Karim Benzema.

Another forward who they have been tracking or some time is Karim-David Adeyemi, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund, and the German national team.

Previously with Bayern Munich and Red Bull Salzburg, he chose to join Dortmund because of their policy of giving youngsters senior playing minutes. Dortmund already know they will have to sell him at some stage but he will not come cheap. They paid £27 million for him and will be looking for double that to let him go.